Research Centers

Prof. Christine Maranci offers lecture on Armenia and the World in Art and Text

The Institute for the Study of Eastern Christianity welcomed Professor Christine Maranci to campus on March 23, to give a lecture on “Armenia and the World in Art and Text.”  The newly-inaugurated Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard University, Maranci spoke to over 150 people in Heritage Hall, some of whom had come from as far as New York and Boston, on the development of Armenian art, architecture and literature in relation to neighboring cultures.  Her lecture illustrated the creativity and vigor of early Christian and medieval Armenian culture, in various media and across a vast territory from Persia and India north toward western Europe, into which Armenians had ventured.


Professor Maranci’s lecture thus ranged widely, from the churches of eastern Anatolia, including the church of Mren, and the numerous churches and buildings of the city of Ani in the old Armenian Highlands; to the kingdom of Cilicia on the Mediterranean coast  during the Crusader period; and to the illustrated, narrative tiles of late medieval and early modern Jerusalem with their connections to the famous artisans of Kuhtaya.  She showed how Armenian art both received and transmitted elements of distant cultures, enriching the illustrations in manuscripts and sculpture.  Maranci has written three books, of which two describe Armenian art and architecture:  Vigilant Powers:  Three Churches of Early Medieval Armenia, and The Art of Armenia: An Introduction, and has written numerous articles and lectures.  She also works with international and national agencies to protect the remains of Armenian churches and monasteries in Turkey.


Maranci was the first lecturer in a five-year series, the Grace and Paul Shahinian Armenian Christian Art and Culture Lecture Series.  Mr. Dean Shahinian, longtime attorney for the U.S. Senate Banking Committee and supporter of Armenian historical scholarship, established the series in honor of his parents, Washington residents who were active in the Armenian community and interested in the history and culture of Armenia.  Mr. Shahinian has worked to support research and scholarship in Armenian history and is well-known for his sponsorship of scholarship in the subject.


The next lecture in the series, scheduled for March 21, 2024, will be delivered by Prof. Zara Poghossian.  Prof. Poghossian teaches at the University of Florence and directs a multi-year  European Research Council project entitled “Armenia Entangled: Connectivity and Cultural Encounters in Medieval Eurasia 9th-14th Centuries.”

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